The start of school and the onset of cooler temps often bring with them something inevitable…The slowdown of our RV rental seasons.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t go out with a bang. There’s still life left in this rental season — and there are even ways to keep your season rolling beyond what you might be used to.
So as the air gets crisper and the school bells start ringing, let’s chat about things you can do right away to bring an end-of-season bump.
Delivery and Stationary Rentals
Many of our hosts already offer delivery in some form or fashion. If you don’t, it’s absolutely something to consider — especially at the end of season when folks tend to look for last-minute vacations.
Stationary rentals are a great option for these last-minute bookers who might not want to take a big road trip this late in the season. In the case of a stationary rental, you simply deliver your RV to renters within a radius that you set.
You’ll drop off your RV, set it up, and let your renters enjoy it. This strategy also saves your renter money because insurance costs less on stationary rentals.
Creative Pricing Strategies
I have RV rentals just outside Glacier National Park. I’m able to set a fairly high nightly rate from Mid-June through Labor Day as people flock here from all over the world.
When my season slows down, I can always create a booking bump by adjusting my pricing down slightly. This simple strategy can help you fill that white space in your booking calendar.
Another way you can make this enticing for a renter is to offer an end-of-season discount code. You could share this code with anyone on the fence, past guests, and even friends and family to create some end-of-season action.
Lower Your Minimum Nights
During my high season, I can get away with a minimum night setting of 5+ nights on my rigs. This is because the majority of folks hitting Glacier are staying for at least that long during high season.
But during shoulder season, guests tend to come in for 3-4 day trips. That’s why I lower my minimum nights right after Labor Day to attract those renters.
You can also jump on outdoorsy.com and throw in some sample dates during your area’s off-season. See what your competition is doing in terms of minimum nights during that time and adjust yours accordingly.
Flex Your Cancellation Policy
Strict and moderate cancellation policies tend to work very well when rental demand is high.
But if you’re looking at a lot of white space on your calendar as the season slows down — why not adjust that to a flexible policy?
Even if some of those renters cancel, the chances are strong that a flexible policy at end-of-season will net you more revenue than you might’ve otherwise brought in.
Ponder Your Security Deposit
We’ve delved into the data to find that renters put a heavy emphasis on security deposit level when making a booking decision.
Take a gander at other similar rigs for rent in your area and see what they’re charging for their security deposit. If you find yourself above that average, consider lowering your security deposit as a way to draw in bookings.
Time For a Listing Refresh?
End of season is always a good time to take another look at your listing to make sure it’s firing on all cylinders.
For example, if you don’t already have 16+ high-quality photos of the right stuff, get that done now. We’ve crunched the numbers and our hosts who have their photos right have a much higher conversion rate than those that don’t.
Check out these other listing tips to be all you can be as the season slows down.
Take an Event Inventory
During my high season, I’m not too focused on events happening in my area because people wind up renting my rigs either way.
But as the Glacier season slows down, we have several events like horse shows, fairs, and festivals that pick up.
That’s why I go into my listing descriptions toward end-of-season and adjust them in ways that speak to these events. I sometimes even call out specific names of the events in my listing title to make the search engines happy.
In a similar fashion, you could take stock of events that might be coming to your area at end-of-season and figure out ways to get in front of folks looking to camp out. For example, many of these events have Facebook pages and they also see attendees looking in spots like Facebook marketplace for RV rentals.
Jump into these groups to share what you have so it’s front and center in the places people are at.
Those of us up north see our seasons slow up when the mercury dips below freezing.
But what if you could work with other RV owners in warmer pastures who’d manage your rig for you?
That’s exactly what consignment is all about. You and a fellow owner make a deal where you send your RV to them, they manage it for you, and you work out a fair split for both parties.
You’ll want to work out consignment on your own, but these deals are often arranged right in our RV host community on Facebook.
End of season doesn’t need to spell a booking slowdown. The tactics and tips above can help all of us get a nice bump to finish out our seasons. Dig in and start implementing today to finish your rental season strong.